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Care & carers

Father with signs of dementia

(14 Posts)
hellymart Sat 04-May-19 21:27:06

My mum has become a full-time carer for my 93-year old dad. It's clear to both my mum and I that he has dementia. Some days (usually when he sees a medical professional) he seems perfectly fine, other days, he's totally confused, looking at his spoon asking 'what shall I do with this?' and constantly asking 'what shall I do now?' Today he rode his mobility scooter to the local hospital to ask them to take him in, as that's where he thinks he should be. We are trying to encourage him to go into a home, for better care (and to give my poor mum a break) but he's resisting it. He's seen a 'memory nurse' who indicated to my mum that he has Alzheimer's and, in 2 weeks' time he's due to see a senior memory nurse but no-one yet has actually diagnosed him or told him what's wrong with him. Does anyone have any experience of this? Do we need to get a doctor to see him?

Septimia Sat 04-May-19 21:46:14

When my FiL started having memory problems he saw the consultant at home, if I remember rightly. But the system tends to vary from place to place, so maybe the senior memory nurse can do the necessary memory tests. These will check whether he does have problems and shouldn't be affected by him 'seeming fine'. Hopefully they'll lead to a proper diagnosis. Push for further investigations if you think that they're necessary. My FiL was given tablets to slow the progress of his dementia and they certainly helped him for a good while. He continued to live alone in his own home with carers visiting as necessary until shortly before he died.
The Alzheimer's Society has useful information and there are lots of ways to make the task of looking after him a little easier, although it will always be a challenge. Do as much research as you can and accept any assistance that is appropriate. Good luck.

kittylester Sat 04-May-19 21:57:53

I would second the advice to contact the Alzheimer's Society. It would be good to get a proper diagnosis so you can access the right help.

The seeming fine is called a Social Facade and some people with Alzheimers are really good at it. My mum was brilliant.

BradfordLass72 Sun 05-May-19 01:22:49

I don't know anyone who actually wanted to go into residential care but that's the best for most.

I do hope the health professionals get him admitted, for your Mum's sake, she can't go on like that at her age.

Anja Sun 05-May-19 07:04:04

It must be very frustrating when he sees the professionals and has a ‘good’ day. I’m so glad you are there to support your mother as it is so very hard on the careers, and I’m guessing your mother is ‘getting on’ a bit too?

There are many different types of dementia.

Could he be persuaded to go into a Home just for respite care for a week or two in the first instance? This would give your mum a much-needed break and perhaps this might be the way in to full-time care.

kittylester Sun 05-May-19 07:46:07

I wonder if hellymart's father has had a thorough medical age k up.

I think it is a bit harsh to consider putting him in a home before all otger avenues gave been explored.

Granny23 Sun 05-May-19 08:01:00

Kitty I feel your comment is a bit harsh (probably because I am in the process of getting a place in residential care for my DH)

Heellymart the best place for advice is on the specialist forum Talking Point - I'll be back in a moment with the link.

dragonfly46 Sun 05-May-19 08:11:55

My mum was diagnosed when she broke her hip and because of her behaviour she had a brain scan. She managed to live some time after that at home with my dad until he told me one day that they weren’t managing and asked me to find them a home. I had a problem with it but it was what they wanted and it worked out very well as they were still together in the home until he died last summer.

Granny23 Sun 05-May-19 08:12:53

David0205 Sun 05-May-19 08:20:51

Dementure affects patients in different ways, confusion, a change in temperament, fear of something, wandering off. Often they are unaware of their affect on those caring for them, especially on a 24/7 caring partner. The OPs parents really should be in some kind of sheltered accommodation but that is not likely to happen, unless it is privately funded. A week of respite care in a well chosen home will be a good first step to making the enivitable easier.

An aunt of mine steadfastly refused to go into care, one day she imagined intruders in the house and climbed out of the window, so it was time to insist that she went, she loves it and her general health has improved

sodapop Sun 05-May-19 08:28:35

I thought it was a bit harsh too Kitty You are not aware of the family's circumstances and Hellymart's Mum is probably a good age as well to cope with this.
You need to get specialist advice Hellymart sounds like you have got the ball rolling on this. Dementia UK also can help. It's difficult for everyone at this stage, I hope you and your Mum get some help and support.

kittylester Sun 05-May-19 08:46:30

Granny23, you must be sad to have got to this stage- I know from your posts how well you have cared for your DH for a long time. I hope you find a good home that you are both happy with.

I wasn't suggesting that residential care was wrong but it seems a huge leap from where the op's parents are without a proper diagnosis and medical investigations.

Lots of other things can lead to confusion. Pain, Infection, Constipation. And, hellymart's father has not had a proper diagnosis yet.

The advice re Talking Point and the Alzheimer's Society is brilliant.

hellymart Sun 05-May-19 09:01:48

Thanks for all your advice. I will head over to Talking Point. He has been into a care home for respite 3 times but when he comes out, we're back to square one. He won't be left alone now, by the way, so my mum cannot go anywhere (even the toilet) without him. He bars the way if she ever tries to go out - even just to get out for five minutes for a break (I was there when he did it once - he barred the way so that neither of us could get out of the bedroom). So it may seem 'harsh' to want him to go into a home but I am worried about my 83-year old mother, who is on the verge of a breakdown because of it all.

kittylester Sun 05-May-19 10:03:50

I wasnt suggesting you were being harsh hellymart. You are living the situation day to day.

I was saying that it was harsh of other posters to send him to a home on the basis of your post.

Talking point is brilliant, as others have said, but also contact your local Alzheimers Society for knowledgeable and caring advice.